Telehealth is for doctors, too

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Health care providers collaborate via videoconferencing.

It’s no secret that the pandemic has increased awareness of telemedicine. But patients aren’t the only ones who benefit from getting medical guidance via Zoom. Since 2006, Show-Me ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) has been videoconferencing with physicians across 112 counties and St. Louis.

From Columbia and doctors’ offices throughout the state, the interdisciplinary ECHO team provides skills training, best practices and a second opinion. Held twice a month, each ECHO session includes a minilecture followed by case-based learning where a physician talks about a specific case anonymously. The team — which, depending on the topic, could include anyone from psychiatrists to social workers to nurses to hepatologists — gives its recommendations for the benefit of the group. “It means that the health care providers can treat more of their own patients without referring them out,” says Rachel Mutrux, senior program director for the Missouri Telehealth Network. “It lessens the isolation of these providers and increases professional satisfaction. It’s also a great opportunity for providers, including alumni, to stay in touch with their alma mater.”

This story originally appeared in Show Me Mizzou Magazine on Dec. 17, 2021.

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